Tag Archives: EReader

HP’s TouchPad Kindle Review

True to their word to bring Kindle platform to everything including your toaster, Amazon launched Kindle app for HP’s newest tablet toy, TouchPad. The application is free and matches 100% the functionality found on other platforms like Android and iPhone / iPad. That means Amazon bookstore, synchronization across platforms, etc. The basics are there as well, including portrait / landscape support, text size and font selection, search, etc.

If you want to get yours, it is free via HP App Catalog. I got mine, let’s see how it performs.

TouchPad Kindle App Review

I will start by declaring that I love reading, and my daily commute by train gives me ample opportunities to follow my passion. That being said, I tried a number of reading devices, mostly to write reviews. I started with Nook (not the Nook Color), bought Kindle 2 and 3, Nook Color which I root Read More…

Amazon’s Kindle 3G+WiFi with Special Offers price drops to $139 due to AT&T sponsorship

Considering how much competition Kindle got lately from both Nook Color and the new touch eReaders launched in the last several months, Amazon needed something to bring some enthusiasm to their Kindle eReaders. One of the most appreciated measures is cutting the price and this is what they did – thanks to a deal with AT&T, you can now buy the Amazon Kindle 3G + WiFi version with Special Offers for a very low $139 that includes free 3G for life from AT&T (and also works globally). It works well, you can also access e-mails, tweets and Facebook for free together with Wikipedia and the latest news.

Special Offers is a program created by Amazon to bring ads to their eReaders, and it proved to be successful so far. The launch offers were actually quite good, the ads never interfere with your reading, only showing as screensavers, but, based on the latest numbers, the customers just appreciate more universal tablets instead of dedicated eReaders with Barnes & Noble Nook Color becoming the best seller eReader in the first quarter of this year. Amazon will also launch two Android tablets in the fall, including an industry first, a quad core device.

Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color jumps ahead Amazon’s Kindle as the best selling eReader

Based on the latest numbers churned by IDC, for the first time ever B&N’s sweet eReader / hacked Android tablet Nook Color took the lead in sales jumping ahead Amazon’s hugely successful Kindle eReader. We can’t say we are completely surprised by the news, especially since the Nook Color is our all time favorite device. The news is obviously a message from the readers that they want devices that will do more than just allowing them to read books, Internet browsing and gaming / movie watching being the obvious favorites. With Nook Color, you can do all of the above, especially if you root them and install CyanogenMod 7, a move that should give you full tablet functionality for less. If you are interested, check our series of articles in how to do it!

iPad 2 continues to dominate the tablets market but Nook Color remains on the second place, despite efforts from dedicated players like Samsung or Motorola. IDC doesn’t say though, and we would certainly like to know how many of the Nook Color buyers end up rooting / replacing their OS.

Check out IDC’s full Press Release after the break.

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How to root Nook Touch and side load apps (Kindle, ADW launcher, Amazon App Store), review

Following our successful tutorials about rooting the Nook Color, we decided to write a new tutorial involving the new Barnes and Noble eReader, Nook Touch. Much like its older brother, the original nook, Nook Touch is build on top of an Android (2.1) based platform, and, as a result, fully capable of being rooted / hacked. The new Nook Touch has a faster processor, memory and overall a better hardware than its older brother and also a much longer battery life. Let’s go ahead and see what extra functionality / advantages you can Read More…

Barnes & Noble announced Nook – The Simple Touch Reader

Just a day after Kobo announced their own version of touch enabled eReader, Barnes & Noble decided it is time to unwrap their new eReader device as well, and surprise, it also has touch screen capabilities (and at this point, Amazon HAS to come with something, either a new eReader or a tablet to stay in the game).

Hardware wise, Nook Touch has the exact same infrared touch technology announced by Kobo and surprises us with an incredible battery life (up to 2 month). The device is also much thinner and lighter than its predecessor – about 21% more compact (the keyboard is also on screen). The screen is also the same 6″ EInk Pearl found in both Kindle 3 and Kobo Touch released yesterday and at this point it is obvious that eReader hardware is heading toward commoditization with the main differentiation being the software layer and the store content and prices.

Like previous models, the new Nook Simple Touch is also based on Android, has 2GB of memory which can be expanded through the included microSD slot (up to an additional 32GB). The eReader includes WiFi support but no 3G. I assume B&N did their marketing research and realized that not that many people are actually using the 3G capability, although we wished they would have come with a 3G enabled model for those that actually would enjoy it.

You can pre-order now from B&N website for $139 and it will start shipping on June 10th. Nook Simple Touch will also sell at BestBuy, Staples, Walmart and other stores.

Head after the break for full technical specs. Keep in touch for our upcoming Nook Touch Review.

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Pandigital Planet eReader leaks at FCC – quick technical specs review

Better known for its cheap photo frames, Pandigital started just a year or so ago to make eReaders. Their first one, Pandigital Novel 7 was only a partial success (see our Pandigital Novel 7 review) but now Pandigital is launching a new model, Pandigital Planet, a little bit more open but still without the official Android Market. Fortunately, it does run the SlideMe 3rd party app store and, presumably it will be able to run Amazon Android Market as well which is a major accomplishment.

Some early details leaked on FCC’s website, like 7″ large LCD screen, still 800×600 resolution, still the same crappy resistive touchscreen (when will they learn?) but a useful microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards, a USB 2.0 Host/OTG, microphone, a new HDMI output and dual cameras (back and front). The device will run Android 2.2 and it is potentially ripe for rooting. Since the device, even with HDMI out and dual camera, will still be marketed as an eReader, it will retain Barnes & Noble eBook store but will also add pre-installed apps like Facebook, virus protection (not sure how important that is in Android world at this point, whether it will be effective or just a marketing gimmick). Pandigital Planet also lists an interesting list of codec capability including MOV, MP4, DIVX / XVID, h264, h263, MPEG4, etc.

We got the full technical specs and some photos (see after the break)

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Barnes & Noble Nook on sale at Walmart starting October 24

Following a recent announcement of a big software version to be available by the end of November, Barnes & Nobles disclosed that in just 3 days, on October 24 Walmart, the world largest retailer will start selling their popular Nook eReader (Review Horizon full review here) in both their stores and online, just in time for the holiday shopping season. This is a big victory for Barnes & Noble, especially considering that Amazon’s Kindle (Review Horizon full review here)  is already available in target and Staples stores as well.

While Walmart might sell other eReaders brands as well, Nook will be prominently displayed as the premier device in the consumer electronics section. Both versions will be offered (3G+WiFi and WiFi only) and, while the prices are not disclosed, they’ll probably match the official $149 for WiFi only and $199 for 3G + WiFi version.

Update: Walmart has it in stock, ready to ship! As indicated, the prices match the Barnes and Noble prices but shipping is free at Walmart. Nook Color is also available for $249.

Amazon to release Kindle App for the recently announced PlayBook Tablet BlackBerry

For those of you that for one reason or another don’t like dedicated eReaders lie Kindle 3 or Nook, Amazon is still happy to sell you as many books as they can, so they are busy at porting their Kindle App on any device they can. Until today, they did a pretty good job to support iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac and BlackBerry. Soon they will support yet another BlackBerry device, and this time is none other than the recently announced BlackBerry tablet – PlayBook.

The application will be of course free and will have the same capability as their other implementations including buying eBooks from Amazon’s store, synchronize your reading state across multiple devices using WhisperSync technology, and, of course, reading!

PlayBook won’t be able, at least in the initial models, to be able to access Amazon’s eBook store by itself since the launch models won’t include a cellular modem, but if you already own a BlackBerry, you’ll be able to use it to tether. PlayBook does come with 802.11 wireless network so it certainly doesn’t lack connectivity.

Literati color eReader released under Sharper Image brand

A new addition to the eReaders crowd will make its way to the stores, this time under the Sharper Image brand. While unusual, it is not the first device of its kind to be distributed like this since I bough my Pandigital Novel 7 from Bed Bath and Beyond. The Literati eReader will sport a 7″ LCD display (800×480) wireless connection and a store powered by Kobo and 150 free ebooks included. The ads don’t make any reference to additional applications other than eBook reading and if they are correct, the device is rather overpriced. To be noted is the inclusion of a keyboard like the Kindle eReaders but not a touchscreen, so if an Internet Browser will ever arrive on Literati, it will probably be a bad experience.

Check after the break for the full press release.

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Cruz eReader joins the eBook readers crowd, to ship next month

Advertised as “world’s first affordable touch screen color ereader”, Cruz eReader by Velocity Micro will be available for pre-ordering at BestBuy and Borders September 15th for $199. The problem is…there are already cheaper alternatives on the market as is Pandigital Novel 7 and Augen Gentouch, which can be purchased right now under $150. The specs also seem to be very similar to the Pandigital device, including applications as: Dictionary, Notepad, Calendar, Alarm Clock, Contacts, Games and featuring an accelerometer for portrait/landscape detection.

• Full color TFT display
• 7” diagonal 800×600 screen and 802.11 b/g wifi
• Android 2.0
• 256MB RAM, 256MB internal storage, 4GB SD card bundled
• Supports ePub, PDF, TXT, PDB, HTML reader files
• MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV audio support
• MPEG-4, H.264, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP image support

The main question is: Would you prefer a color screen tablet with media capabilities or would you use instead a dedicated eReader like the new Kindle 3 from Amazon or Nook from Barnes and Noble?

Hit after the break for the full Press Release. Read More…